The Week That Was: October 22, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Limits of Influence of CO2 – Laboratory Evidence: In a 2015 interview regarding the position of Pope Frances on climate change, physicist Tom Sheahen stated why he believes that human emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are not a major contributor to global warming/climate change.
“My career includes time at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute for Standards and Technology) where I actually measured infrared absorption by CO2. I may have been the last person ever to do so because the results are exactly what had been found about a century ago. In 100 meters, the most important band of CO2 absorbs completely; we call that ‘saturation.’ In the atmosphere, absorption by CO2 was over 90 percent saturated in pre-industrial times and the increase in atmospheric CO2 from 300 to 400 parts per million adds only about 1 percent to 2 percent absorption. [Concentrations are now about 400 parts per million.] All that does is shift the altitude slightly from which water vapor (which is by far the dominant greenhouse gas) radiates infrared energy away into space. The empirical evidence today (worldwide satellite measurements) clearly shows that despite increasing CO2, earth’s average temperature is not increasing rapidly.” [Boldface added].